Medicare is a health coverage program provided for people who are 65 years of age or older. The program also covers people under the age of 65 who have certain qualifying disabilities, such as End-Stage Renal Failure. If you have Medicare coverage you can register online in a relatively simple process that takes only a few minutes to complete. Note that registration is not the same as applying for Medicare. You can only register once you have your Medicare number.
Who Should Register
Anybody who has Medicare coverage can register online, but it's not mandatory to do so. Since the process is simple and allows you to access your account information quickly and easily, you may find that registering online is worth the small amount of effort it takes to do so. You can still use the phone and mail to handle issues with your account if you prefer, but registering gives you an additional option for getting information and handling problems and updates.
Benefits of Registering
Once you are registered for Medicare online, you can easily handle multiple tasks quickly and efficiently. You'll be able to access your Medicare account details and claims immediately. You can check and verify Part B information, eligibility and your other enrollment information anytime you want. Online registration also allows you to conveniently manage your list of prescription drugs and update your personal health information. If you'll be traveling you can go to your online account and create a special report that lets you take your healthcare information with you, just in case you need it.
Registering Your Medicare Account
To register your Medicare account, go to MyMedicare.gov and click on "Start your online registration." Fill out the simple form that follows and you'll be registered with Medicare in just a few minutes. You'll need your Medicare number, which is on your Medicare card, along with your name, date of birth, zip code, and the date your Medicare Part A coverage became effective. Once you've filled out the form and submitted it, your account will be created immediately.
Completing the Initial Enrollment Questionnaire
Once you have registered online, you'll be able to fill out the initial enrollment questionnaire, or IEQ, if you haven't done so already. You may have received this form in the mail, but you can also go to MyMedicare.gov to fill it out online by signing into your account. The IEQ lets you specify which Medicare services you want to use, such as Part A, Part B, Part C, or Part D, and allows you to specify how you will pay for the various premiums associated with some of these.